Thousands of Catholics descend on Anaheim for religious education conference

Young people pray during the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, Feb. 27, 2009, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Young people pray during the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, Feb. 27, 2009, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. CNS PHOTO/VICTOR ALEMAN/VIDA NUEVA

Nearly 40,000 Roman Catholics have descended upon the Anaheim Convention Center for an annual religious education conference.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese Religious Education Congress is the largest of its type in the country.

It started yesterday with Youth Day, for about 16,000 high school students. Today is the first day for adults. They come from as far away as Canada, Australia, England, Ireland and Pakistan.

"We'll have between 200 and 300 presenters giving workshops over the few days where folks can go in, they can find themselves enriched either with some practical hands-on skills for what they do back in their parishes. Or it may be about nourishing their own soul and developing their own spirituality," says Father David Loftus of the archdiocese Office of Religious Education.

The conference also includes Christian music and hundreds of vendors, selling everything from stained glass windows and church candles to Christian books and religious gifts.

The Religious Education Congress continues through Sunday.


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